By Samson Echenim
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) says its director-general, Dakuku Peterside was not able to appear before the National Assembly joint committee investigating activities of foreign ship owners in Nigeria because he had to stay at the agency’s headquarters to welcome House Committee on Maritime Safety Education and Administration who were on oversight visit to the Agency in Lagos.
In a statement on Wednesday, NIMASA said “…on Tuesday 3rd March 2020, the director-general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA Dr. Dakuku Peterside led other management staff of the agency to receive members of the House Committee on Maritime Safety Education and Administration who were on oversight visit to the Agency in Lagos.
This was the reason the DG could not personally be in Abuja to honor the invitation by the National Assembly joint committee investigating activities of foreign vessel owners in the country. It is noteworthy that due to the clash of both schedules, NIMASA management communicated same to the National Assembly joint committee investigating activities of foreign vessel owners in the country requesting for a change of date.
“However, a member of the executive management, the executive director Maritime Labour and Cabotage services, Gambo Ahmed led the high powered team to represent the Agency. NIMASA management respects the National Assembly and will always respond to invitation from them.”
The National Assembly joint committee which is investigating activities of foreign vessel owners in the country on Tuesday walked out the representatives of NIMASA led by Ahmed from a public hearing.
The panel threatened to sanction Peterside, if he failed to honour the rescheduled meeting by appearing in person.
Senator Teslim Folarin chairman, Senate Committee on Local Contents and his colleague in the House of Representatives, Legor Idagbo, lamented the decision of Peterside to shun the invitation despite several reminders.
The Joint National Assembly Committee on Local Content, Petroleum Downstream, and Legislative Compliance are currently investigating the breach of Nigerian laws by foreign vessel owners in the coastal region of the country.
Folarin described the absence of Dakuku as “very unfortunate,” as he (Dakuku) was the one who personally picked Tuesday to appear before the joint committee.
“We rescheduled this event because of him. I called him and asked him to pick a date and he picked today, only for him to write the Clerk three days ago that the Senate Committee was coming to see him. This is an investigative hearing which supersedes any other engagement. We won’t sit here and be wasting our time. We will give him one more chance, just one chance. If he failed to honour the next invitation, we know what to do,” Folarin said.
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